“Common grace and antithesis are theological tools of discernment. The antithesis idea helps us see that the differences between belief and unbelief are real and pervasive. But the common grace idea tells us that the God whom Calvinists worship and serve has not abandoned the unbelieving world. We know that both the hellish and the heavenly are realities in the world. We know that we can fully expect to catch glimpses – sometimes even glorious ones – of truth, goodness, and beauty in the lives of those who do not profess Christ, even while we must be on guard not to be taken in by hellish deceptions. Both ideas encourage us to keep our spiritual eyes open – always with an awareness that we need to work hard at cultivating a God-honoring discernment.”
These words are found in the second chapter of “Adventures in Evangelical Civility: A Lifelong Quest for Common Ground”, by our guest for this episode of Christian Humanist Profiles, Dr. Richard J. Mouw, President Emeritus of Fuller Theological Seminary, and Professor of Faith and Public Life at Fuller. In this episode, Todd Pedlar interviews Dr. Mouw, and the discussion centered on one of Dr. Mouw’s life-long passions – to seek to live honorably alongside others whose understanding of life, the universe, and everything might differ strikingly from us, and to recognize the realities and the blessings of what Reformed Christians have denoted “Common Grace”. Enjoy!